Gospel Reflection July 17 – Deacon Paul

Sunday, July 17

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Luke 10: 38-42


Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me.”
The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”

Gospel Reflection:

Today, Jesus used the story of two well-known women in the Bible, Martha and Mary, to demonstrate the type of relationship he wants for us. Jesus used this moment to make a point about where one’s priorities should be.

Mary and Martha were good friends of Jesus…who visited their home often in Bethany. Martha, the oldest, was planning and preparing a special dinner for Jesus. Upon Jesus’ arrival, everyone was excited to see him. Jesus sat down on a pillow in the front room, and he started to teach. He talked about God…and love… and prayer.

Soon Martha went back to the kitchen…so busy she was…so focused on her last-minute preparations…and she was irritated that she could not hear the conversation between Jesus and her younger sister.

Martha could not contain her anger saying, “Jesus would you please tell Mary to come into the kitchen and help me with all of this work and finish this meal?”

To which Jesus spoke to Martha calmly, “Martha, Martha, don’t be so upset. For you are anxious and worried about many things. But Mary has chosen the better part, for she is listening to me, and this will not be taken away from her.”

But what was Jesus trying to get across to Martha and Mary? Well, first of all, Jesus did not fault Martha for being responsible, but for being “worried and anxious” about all her activities. Martha’s fault was that she was too busy to listen…too distracted to sit at Jesus’ feet and absorb his presence…too busy living life to quietly hear what Jesus had to say…too involved with all of her activities and actions that she was not able to find time to first listen to the voice of Christ.

And so, who do we tend to identify with in our story today? Is it Martha or Mary…or maybe both of them? Do we have our priorities in order? If we are like Martha, are we worried or anxious about many things…OR…if we are like Mary…are we focused on listening to Jesus and spending time in his presence? What is stealing your attention from Jesus today? For it is time to stop rushing and worrying like Martha and take a seat like Mary.

Deacon Paul Zemanek